New Drug May Help Reduce the Spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa

New Drug May Help Reduce the Spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa

African girls are at risk for HIV/AIDS
SOS is dedicated to reducing the vulnerability of children to HIV infection.

August 10, 2009: Researchers have discovered a new drug that could help stem HIV transmission among girls in rural Africa by preventing Schistosomiasis, a disease which has been shown to contribute to HIV’s transmission.

HIV is an opportunistic virus that often infects people suffering from other diseases. Schistosomiasis, contracted by contact with parasite-infested water and prevalent in some parts of Africa, is one of those diseases.

Young girls are often infected by schistoma worms when playing or swimming in fresh water, later developing urinary tract infections and genital sores. These sores facilitate HIV entry into the system. But, according to The New York Times, a study shows that at a cost of 32 cents a child, the drug praziquantel can prevent schistosomiasis, thus reducing HIV transmission.

Worldwide, 207 million people have schistosomiasis; 90 percent of cases are in Africa. The drug-finding appeared in May in the online journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Thirty-two cents a child is a small investment to make to save the reproductive health of girls in Africa, which has been devastated by HIV/AIDS.

SOS Children’s Villages Helps African Children and Families with HIV/AIDS

boy from SOS Children's Village in Africa
SOS Children’s Villages has a presence in 44 African countries.
AIDS has shattered the lives of many African families, leaving millions of children orphaned or neglected. Working in 132 countries, SOS Children’s Villages builds homes to raise and educate orphaned and abandoned children. Many of the children in SOS Villages in Africa have lost one or both parents to AIDS. These boys and girls often face cruel stigma and rejection by their own communities.

 

SOS is dedicated to reducing the vulnerability of children and their caregivers to HIV infection. The organization works to provide for children in Africa affected by AIDS equal access to education and other services.

Working to Prevent HIV

SOS Children’s Villages also initiates HIV prevention efforts throughout Africa. Some SOS Villages form youth clubs, where young people create and perform plays and songs that target local children and villagers. These performances disseminate accurate information about how to prevent HIV. They also dispel myths about HIV/AIDS.

SOS Children’s Villages has a presence in 44 African countries. In Cameroon, for instance, SOS runs a kindergarten, a primary school, and a medical center. To meet its goal of keeping more families intact, SOS provides the local population with general medical care and health counseling. SOS helps people affected by HIV/AIDS with food assistance, medical attention, school fees, and advice on how to start small businesses.

To give a child affected by HIV/AIDS in Cameroon or elsewhere in Africa the chance to flourish, consider sponsoring an SOS child.